As one of the most highly regarded producers of his – or any other – generation, Sandy Rivera’s place in house music history is already assured. Recording under both his own name and his legendary Kings of Tomorrow moniker, Rivera’s unparalleled creativity and gift for forging timeless house records have placed him in a league of his own, and without him the house landscape would boast a far less richly coloured vista.
Long-players The Calling (1997), It’s In The Lifestyle (2000) and Trouble (2005) roundly demonstrate Rivera’s wide-ranging talents and ability to incorporate a vast array of stylistic influences into his music. Elements from soul, funk, disco, techno, pop and everything in between are commonplace in his records, Rivera drawing on the myriad influences Puerto Rican heritage and New York upbringing to craft records that are at once familiar and utterly unique.
Aside for his many solo offerings, collaboration has always been a key part of Rivera’s recording career, ‘SOTOM’ alongside Danish artist Noir and ‘I Remember’ with C.Castel – released on Rivera’s own Blackwiz Records – standing as recent highlights. Reacha little further back into the Rivera canon and you’ll find a sometimes overlooked gem, EBTG & Soul Vision (Rivera and Jose Burgos) ‘Tracy In My Room’ – a truly iconic record with Soul Vision’s rolling production perfectly complimenting Tracy Thor’s sultry vocals. Known for working with highly talented singers and songwriters Haze (‘Changes’), Robert Owens (‘Just Won’t Do’) and Elzi Hall (‘Show Me’) Rivera has found something of a muse in recent years in the UK’s April. Having released two EPs with April on vocals – ‘I Need To Love Me’ and 2013’s sensational’ ‘Fall For You’, the duo are now set to release their third collaboration ‘Bang’ in May 2014.
Other upcoming releases include a single with Grammy awarded-winning singer/songwriter Mike City ‘Lifted’, ‘Kaos’ in collaboration with spoken word artist Divine Essence, a remix for Atlantic Records-signed Max Elto as well as new remixes of the Kings of Tomorrow classic ‘Flutes’. Behind the decks, Rivera continues to be at the forefront of the house and techno scene, recent tours of Brazil and Asia and upcoming appearances at Play (Hong Kong), Lakedance (Eindhoven) and Carpe Diem (Croatia) demonstrating the continued global demand of this world-class DJ and artist.
In years to come, Sandy Rivera will be looked back on as one of the true greats to the scene; a pioneering artist whose passion for house music is continually realised in the music he creates. For now though, with the 20th anniversary of Blackwiz just around the corner, he’s still busy creating his legacy: long may he continue.